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Personal licence to sell alcohol

​​​​​​​​​​​You are not required to have a personal licence to be employed in a pub or other business that sells alcohol. Premises licensed to sell alcohol must have a designated premises supervisor, who holds a personal licence. The single exception is a community premises that has successfully applied to display​ the DPS requirement under section 41D of the Licensing Act 2003.

Anyone who does not hold a personal licence must be authorised to sell alcohol by a personal licence holder. There is no such requirement for the supply of alcohol in a members’ club.

Personal licences allow you to sell alcohol on behalf of any business that has a premises licence or a club premises certificate. The relationship is similar to th​e way that a driving licence permits the driving of any car.

About the licence

The licences are designed to ensure that anybody running or managing a business that sells or supplies alcohol will do so in a professional fashion. Once you receive your personal licence, you can act as the designated premises supervisor for any business that sells or supplies alcohol.

Who can apply

In order to apply, you must be aged 18 years or over, and hold a licensing qualification; for example, a BII level II examination certificate or a similar accredited qualification such as the EDI NCPLH level 2 qualification.

If you are applying for a personal licence, you must obtain an accredited qualification first. The aim of the qualification is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities involved in the sale of alcohol. Personal licence qualification providers are accredited by the Secretary of State.

Your local council will want to know of any relevant criminal convictions, and these may impact on whether or not you are found to be suitable as a licensee. You will also need to provide a basic criminal conviction disclosure form.

Regulation summary

Apply for a licence

Personal licence to sell alcohol form on GOV​.UK

Completed applications can be emailed to or posted to Rochdale Borough Council Licensing or brought in to the Licensing Unit during opening hours.​

Application evaluation process

Applications must be sent to the licensing authority in the borough in which the applicant resides.

Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by the required fee of £37. The following items must accompany the application:

  • Declaration of Convictions Form
  • 2 Endorsed Passport Size Photographs
  • Original (or certified copy) Accredited Qualification Certificate
  • Original Basic Disclosure (within 28 days of the date printed on the disclosure)

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the Licensing Authority processes an application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Licensing Authority within a reasonable period, please contact us. The target completion period for processing a Personal Licence application is 14 working days from the day after we receive the application.

Please contact Rochdale Borough Council in the first inst​ance.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days.

Licence holder redress

Please contact Rochdale Borough Council in the first instance.

Other redress

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days.


01706 924114

Licensing counter drop-in sessions, Number One Riverside​

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9am-11am and 2pm-4pm

Friday ​9am-11am

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU